Our Story

In the Beginning

The history of Vineyard Church of Elgin begins in January 1990 with Ross Nelson, who was a Lutheran youth pastor in Geneva, IL. Sensing the Lord's call to start something new, Ross and his wife, Mary, planted Elgin Vineyard and pastored here for five years. In 1995, they returned to their hometown of Tomahawk, WI, and later planted another Vineyard church there.

When the Nelsons left, Tom Severson was asked to serve as pastor. He and his wife, Jill, were part of the original Elgin Vineyard church family. Tom has served as our lead pastor ever since and is much admired for his shepherd's heart and passion in preaching. Two men have served as community pastor: Kevin Kiefer (2002-2009) and Jason Patrick (2013-2019). Both have gone on to plant new Vineyard churches—Kevin in Palatine, with his wife, Molly, and Jason in Streamwood, with his wife, Betsy.


Church planting is an important value in the Association of Vineyard Churches. Just as a gardener divides healthy plants to produce vibrancy in another part of the garden, we believe the Lord calls us to replant our own healthy growth into other communities. Elgin Vineyard has planted four churches so far and played a role in establishing two others.
Trinity Vineyard Church  |  St. Charles, IL  (1998)
Vineyard Church of Dupage  |  Wheaton, IL  (2001)
Thrive Vineyard Church  |  Palatine, IL  (2009)
Streamwood Vineyard Church  |  Streamwood, IL  (2019)

Northwoods Vineyard Church  |  Tomahawk, WI
Valley Vineyard Church  |  Chippewa Falls, WI

Our Building

As a church family, Elgin Vineyard worshiped for two years in the auditorium at Larkin High School and 17 years in a converted banquet hall. In May 2009, the Lord opened up the opportunity to purchase our current home at 220 Division St.—in the downtown area of Elgin, which is exactly where we want to be. The cornerstone for this beautiful, historic building was laid in 1905. Over the years it's been updated several times, most recently in May 2017.

By the grace of God, our church recently completed a capital campaign called Vision 2020: Renovate. Click below for information.